Highly Ornamented

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Works characterized by a high level of ornamentation. Ornamental elements are generally those that embellish some aspect of a work of art and so may be considered decorative. In architecture, ornament consists of non-structural elements such as floral carvings or decorative surface patterns; in medieval manuscripts painted decorations surrounding the text are examples of ornamentation. Though central to art throughout the ages and very present in the art of the last decade, in modern Western art, ornamentation has been often been dismissed as outdated or in poor taste. In a highly influential essay, “Ornament and Crime,” published in 1908, Adolf Loos even aimed to purge ornament entirely from design and architecture, seeing is as a sign of cultural primitivism that stood in the way of modern utopia.

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